The Amherst Town Board on Monday unanimously passed a law that bans fracking as well as fracking waste disposal in the town.
The move makes the Town of Amherst one of the 170 New York municipalities that have banned the controversial practice such as the County of Erie and Buffalo. Environmentalists lauded the move, saying it sends a subtle hint to Governor Andrew Cuomo to follow suit. Currently, New York is researching on the possible effect of hydraulic fracturing on human health before it decides whether to allow the drilling method.
“Even if it’s looked at as symbolic it’s still helpful, because it encourages other towns and cities to protect themselves and that’s not a bad thing,” Rita Yelda, of Amherst Against Fracking, told Buffalo News. “We don’t know what’s going to happen 20 years down the road.”
Amherst Against Fracking recently led lobbying efforts to persuade Amherst policymakers to ban fracking and disposal of fracking waste within the town’s borders.
Fracking is a controversial technique that blasts shale rocks with a mixture of chemicals, water and sand to release oil and natural gas that is trapped within. The technique has attracted opposition from activists such as Yelda, who argue it pollutes groundwater and air quality. It has recently been blamed for the rising number of earthquakes in states such as Oklahoma.
“We’re very pleased with what the Amherst Town Board accomplished today,” Yelda said. “I think they realized fracking does have a far-reaching impact that goes beyond the well site.”
At least 20 residents presented their views when it was time for the public to voice their stand on the matter, ensuring the issue was debated for more than an hour. To register for a free 2-week subscription to ForexMinute Premium Plan, visit www.forexminute.com/newsletter.
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